Tuesday, 27 March 2007

The Toothless Grin

It was the toothless grin that caught my attention more than what he was saying. He was whispering something in Hokkien and thinking that I did not understand, he switched to Malay. As I strained my ears, I caught it. He wanted me to buy him a meal.

As I sat in the mamak shop in SS3, Petaling Jaya, I looked him up and down. His shirt was crumbled. His pants that ill fitted a smaller waistline was held together by a worn-out belt. But, he was clean and to a certain extent, neat.

I nodded in agreement. The waiter who was watching the scene, turned to me and asked: Berapa? Empat ringgit? Again, I nodded in agreement.

Still wearing the grin, he headed for the fried chicken and picked up his choice piece only to be reprimanded by the waiter for using his fingers. His food was packed and he came back in front of me to ask whether he could have a canned drink. Again, I agreed and he darted away. I did not see him leave the shop but what he left behind that lingered in my mind was his happiness and his toothless grin.

The joy of having performed an act of kindness was momentarily disrupted by the waiter telling me that he does this every morning. Surprisingly, I did not react with anger nor contempt. When I first agreed to his request, the thought in my mind was that if I could buy my friends a meal, why not a stranger who has the courage to ask.

I was taken up by his courage. What would drive a man to ask... to lower his dignity? Circumstances? Adversity? He may be getting a meal to feed other mouths for all we know.

Some may disagree. With the act of kindness, we may be feeding his insincerity, condoning dishonesty, encouraging laziness, etc, etc, etc. BUT who are we to judge? And should we judge?

Would it suffice to know that one's act of kindness resonate with happiness all round? Or does one need to know the circumstances and everything of the recipient of one's kindness? I likened it to wanting to know the brand and every detail of an arrow or a bullet that was shot at you rather than being focused on the present moment of being shot and seeking medical attention.

To me, I am satisfied with the moment of happiness that the act of kindness brought. It is the unconditional, random act without any expectations whatsoever. Even a grin would be just rewards... what a lesson from a man with the toothless grin!

Friday, 23 March 2007

Lesson in no Lesson

Where would the next lesson come from? Yes, it has been a while since the last posting. Admittedly, the pace that I have been going through has not allowed me to sit back and observe for lessons in life since I have not run smack into any situation that would turn out to be a great life learning experience.

It is obvious, from the the above admission, that I need to slow down to be able to drink in the moment. Possibly then will there be something that will pop out and turn out to be a lesson. Actually, some things did pop up but I thought the better of it to hold my tongue (and fingers from furiously jabbing the keyboards) lest I bring myself to the low down of rectums, warts and all.

I take comfort that I have not allowed myself to fall victim to shoot my mouth off and hurt feelings that some through their ignorance and contempt have generalised that bloggers are inclined to.